It was lovely for an open day visit to the University of Sussex today – dry, warm with a light breeze, bright and just pleasant.
I liked the feel of the place, the staff and students we came across; my son was happy with what he heard at the lectures and presentations; and what he saw on the tours. The cafeteria could have been clearer and less chaotic but that is a minor matter.
It was a pleasant visit, worthy of the pain: a last minute change of plans saw me drive us there and not go by train as originally planned. In checking out the directions/correct postcode on the university website, we came across a notice that said the parking available on campus was only limited to those who had booked their parking spaces in advance. Well, we hadn’t as I wasn’t going to drive. The options we were given was to park in Lewes or Brighton and commute into campus. Which is what we did.
I wouldn’t have minded much the additional time and money that cost us but for the fact that on arriving at the university, there were lots of spaces available in the car parks throughout the day! I was grumpy about that. I was grumpy about nearly spraining my ankle as I came down from the cab that dropped us off. And I was grumpy most of all when at the end of the day, after waiting for over 30minutes for a cab to pick us up and take us back to our car in Lewes, we got in, set the Sat Nav, and it simply refused to locate directions!
It’s not the first time this has happened where it’s been unable to pick up directions from rural locations. However, when it’s happened in the past, when I would start driving it would pick up the signals before I became desperate at some crossroads. Not today – it simply wouldn’t find directions and kept saying so! Through sheer muscle memory and instinct, I drove back the way I felt we had come until we found signposting to the A227 and then the A27. By this time I was now desperate for ‘proper’ directions. Thankfully my son’s smartphone still had some juice in it so good old google maps came to the rescue and we got home in one piece.
After chilling out with several cups of tea and some TV, I got thinking about that broken Sat Nav experience. For starters, I’m running a workshop Rediscovering Your Path, and one of the questions I ask is “Is your life’s Sat Nav broken?” What would you do if your life’s Sat Nav were broken and you felt lost and needed to get back on track? What did I do today when my Sat Nav failed me in Lewes, my very first time there?
I was grateful that there was still natural light; that the evening shadows hadn’t drawn in, and it wasn’t a dark dark winter’s night, what with there being no obvious street lights where we were. Having said that, what if it were dark and all I had were my car’s headlights? I’d have done what I did in the end, which is to follow my internal light, trusting that I would find my way, no matter how winding the roads and how many times I went around the same roundabout till I figured it out. And although I fell back on google maps to complete the journey, I’m pretty sure I’d have been fine without it. However, accepting help where available to make the journey easier is also a useful strategy.
In the end, it boils down to trust. How can you/ how do you learn to trust yourself in your journey of life?